Rob Liberti wrote:
Actually, my current thinking on that is that some Western parenting practices tend to result in people getting stunted at that point in childhood when everything is very black or white.
Sad, isn't it?
Speaking of "black and white" and getting back to the idea of defining "highest level martial arts". Let me see if I can frame a "black and white" example.... but instead of just labeling things, perhaps you (or others' thoughts would be welcome) can post an analysis, as you see it?
Let's take the example of suburi, bokken swinging. Suburi supposedly "develops the tanden", among other things. If someone named "X" watches a video of, say, Saito Sensei swinging the bokken, it appears fairly straightforward. You hold the bokken in a certain way and you swing it to and fro in a certain way. So X picks up a bokken and swings it, emulating Saito. Another third party, "Y", watches and compares .... and says X certainly appears to be swinging the bokken like Saito is.
So, some questions are: .... are there any results someone can expect from suburi swinging and will X achieve those results just swinging the bokken in a way that looks like Saito's swing? After all, the basic swing that X is doing will certainly enable him to cut something with a sword, so you can't fault him on doing the swing. Even if you did, he might tell you that "all roads lead to the top of the mountain" or that "his interpretation of correct bokken swinging is just as valid as yours" or that "Saito's swing was evolving his whole life and this swing done by X is just part of the "evolution" of bokken swinging. He might accuse you of thinking in boxes, etc., if you disagree with him and his opinions... heck, he might even call you a "pompous ass", god forbid!
Another person might say that it is practice that counts, suggesting that if X simply swings the bokken a lot he will arrive. "Practice is what counts"; "just practice and you will understand". Etc. Do you think it is true that ultimately X will arrive at the same bokken-swinging skills that Saito has/had by just practicing continuously?